The annual Cures for the Colors survivor dinner will be held Thursday, March 22, at First Pentecostal Holiness Church.

This marks the fifth year for the dinner, which honors cancer survivors, provided by Southeastern Medical Oncology Center.

"The event was started to further solidify the relationship between SMOC, SCC, patients and their families," said Dr. Samer Kasbari, oncologist with SMOC. "It's a unique opportunity to meet patients outside the clinic to celebrate life and a gesture to thank patients for their confidence in our mission."

SCC, Southeastern Cancer Care, was created in 2011 as a way to assist cancer patients in eastern North Carolina by supporting those undergoing treatment with such basic needs as grocery vouchers, gas cards, utility payments and oncology-related prescription drugs.

All proceeds generated stay in eastern North Carolina to help those on active chemo or radiation or within three months of surgery.

The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. Survivors of any type of cancer are invited to attend, along with one guest, for the complimentary meal and program.

"It's one of my favorite events that we do," said Lee Parrish of SMOC. "It's like a night to remember."

Survivors, by definition, include anyone from the recently diagnosed and those currently undergoing treatment to those with many years in remission.

The number of survivors keeps growing, making the celebration even more meaningful. Last year an estimated 650 turned out for the event.

This year's event will be a bit different, Parrish said. The food menu is still southern-style cooking and there will be door prizes and entertainment but no singular speaker.

"We will do a video on what survivorship means," he said. "We'll have physicians from the practice speak. And Dr. Kasbari will emcee.

"Legacy, a male southern gospel quartet from Pikeville, will provide entertainment."

UNC Wayne is also partnering with SMOC this year on the event, Parrish said.

Registration is now being accepted for the dinner. Call the SMOC office at 919-580-0000 or register in person at the office on Cox Boulevard.

Another upcoming event is the annual fundraiser, SCC Cure for the Colors, planned for April 21 at Wayne Community College.

This year the walk/run will feature a "Color Run," with color stations along the way for participants to virtually design their own shirt based upon colors at each station.

The event features a 5K, team 5K, one-mile fun run and half marathon.

Proceeds from the Color Run will be used to assist cancer patients in the SMOC radius, east of I-95. They do not have to be SMOC patients to receive financial support.

For registration or details, visit www.southeasterncancercare.org or call 919-587-9056.